Raúl Zibechi is an international analyst for Brecha of Montevideo, Uruguay, lecturer and researcher on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina, and adviser to several social groups. He writes the monthly Zibechi Report for the Americas Program.
A newly established industrial superpower, owner of the seventh largest oil reserves of the world and the world’s largest area of natural biodiversity in the Amazon, Brazil is also poised to emerge as a new military power. Unquestionably, Brazil is now a big league player. In the decade in which it begins its ascent, the country is so important that it is forcing its main competitor in the region, the United States, to redesign its foreign policy to take into consideration Brazil’s prominence, a tactic that might destabilize all of Latin America.
Roadblocks on the international bridges connecting Argentina and Uruguay, carried out by the Argentine environmental movement to protest the construction of two large cellulose factories, demonstrates the social limitations of the neoliberal model and is jeopardizing the regional alliance between two governments that possess, fundamentally, the same political and ideological orientations.
The recent summit of heads of state for the South American Community of Nations (CSN) left exposed not only the difficulties of coming to terms for regional integration based on the models of MERCOSUR and CAN (the Andean Community of Nations), but also the capacity for initiative of the President of Venezuela.
Thirteen years after its creation, the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) is expanding quickly, but it has not managed to solve problems that are product of deep differences among its members, that not only persist but also -as could be seen in the recent XXVI Summit of Heads of State - tend to grow sharper.